A South Carolina teacher sparked controversy after reportedly telling a 12-year-old student her short skirt was more appropriate for “clubbing.”
Suzie Webster said the Moultrie Middle School teacher humiliated her daughter, Reese, in public on Sept. 21 despite the fact the skirt actually adhered to school dress code, TODAY reports.
“It’s perpetrating this whole problem of body-shaming and body image for young girls who already have to deal with so much,” Webster said.
After the school principal, Ryan Cumback, later measured the child’s skirt, it was revealed it was exactly 5 inches above the knee and thus appropriate to wear.
“[The principal] did tell Reese that she could continue to wear the skirt, however at this point she was so embarrassed that she asked to change into her pants,” Suzie wrote on Facebook, adding by that point her very ashamed daughter repeatedly apologized for looking “trashy.”
What bothered Suzie even more, however, was what Cumback said later “that it was necessary to closely monitor the girl’s attire because boys at this age get very distracted by the girls and their appearance.”
“This is the exact problem with society today,” Suzie wrote. “SO MY DAUGHTER WAS EMBARRASSED, HUMILIATED IN FRONT OF HER PEERS AND MADE TO FEEL LIKE A BAD GIRL BECAUSE BOYS CAN’T CONTROL THEIR DIRTY THOUGHTS!”
“I understand there has to be a line, but shouldn’t the emphasis be on teaching our sons to be gentlemen and focus on their school work, not how much skin our daughters are showing?” she later continued.
Meanwhile, the Charleston County School District says Cumback has “addressed and corrected” the teacher who made the comment about clubbing.
“In no way do we want any student to feel it’s their fault in how someone views them when it comes to what they wear,” the school district said. “However, in this situation, we do not feel Principal Cumback intentionally set out to embarrass the student.
He never told her, nor her parent, she could not wear the skirt. He did ask the student to be cognizant of the skirt going above the five-inch line when walking and sitting.”
Since then, Suzie’s Facebook post has gone viral. Many expressed outrage, stating they could not see what was problematic in the first place about the child’s skirt.